7 Best Things To Do In Waves, North Carolina

things to do in waves north carolina

Waves is a quaint little town located on the Hatteras Island, part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. While it may be difficult to identify this town, it is sandwiched between Salvo and Rodanthe. The town has some of the East Coast’s biggest water sports companies, a few charming eateries, and cafes. Despite being a small town, it is known for its large coastal belt, gorgeous oceanfront and miles of water to indulge in water activities.

If you are also looking forward to a vacation by the coast indulging in some fun adventures, then here’s a list of the best things to do in Waves:

1. Learn & Tour with REAL Watersports

Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Founded in 2001, REAL Watersports has become the go-to destination for kiteboarding and surfing. Its location is probably the best place to kiteboard in the world and definitely the best surfing destination on the East Coast. Even if you are a beginner, they have highly trained instructors offering lessons & workshops so that you can also learn to surf and kiteboard. Their customer service is commendable so you can expect a world-class environment amidst breathtaking coast and fun water sports.

REAL Watersports

Address: 25706 NC-12, Waves, NC 27982, USA

Website: REAL Watersports

2. Hatteras Island Surf Fishing Challenge

Avon Pier, Hatteras Island, North Carolina
Source: Photo by Flickr user Andrew Michael Smith used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Launched as an Annual Event, this year’s Hatteras Island Surf Fishing Challenge is being held from Friday, September 22nd to Sunday, September 24th. Though this is the 2nd edition of the event, it has already gained immense popularity. So, gear up for a weekend full of incredible fishing, surfing, sunbathing and winning as there are prizes up for grabs. There are five weigh-in locations throughout the island, you can bring your own rods and reels, pick your favorite spot and hopefully reel in big catches. The fishing tournament features four divisions - Bluefish, Flounder/Black Drum, Sea Mullet, and Spanish/Pompano. The only restriction is that no boats and no pier fishing are permitted.

The cost to enter is 60 USD per angler before September 12, and 70 USD after, and the tournament ends with an Awards Ceremony and Tournament Raffle at the Camp Hatteras.

Hatteras Island Surf Fishing Challenge

Address: Camp Hatteras Conference Center, 24798 NC-12 (soundside), Rodanthe, NC 27968

Website: Hatteras Island Surf Fishing Challenge

3. Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yuming Huang used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in Kill Devil Hills, merely 35 miles (56 km) from Waves, the Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates the first successful flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903. Their achievement led to the creation that brought the world together and changed our world forever. The dream of flying the sky came to true with the hard-work of these self-taught engineers. This memorial is a good way to reflect upon the history by attending a ranger talk and experience the place firsthand. The site features a replica of the hangar that the Wright brothers used, a visitors center and a 60-foot (18 m) granite monument, perched atop 90-foot-tall (27 m) Kill Devil Hill known as the Memorial Tower.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Address: 1000 N Croatan Highway (Mile Post 7.5), Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948, USA

Website: Wright Brothers National Memorial

4. Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Opened in 2002, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is a maritime museum that features nautical maritime history, exploration of shipwrecks, artifacts recovered from shipwrecks, and lots of Civil War relics. Located in the Hatteras Village, this museum also exhibits ship models, ship bombing demonstrations, pirate stories, life saving & rescue operations, and sinking stories. There’s also a family and youth friendly scavenger hunt organized here every day making it more interactive and a fun learning experience wherein the visitors’ search for objects throughout the museum and receive surprises for their efforts.

The admission to this museum is free, and it is open Monday through Friday.

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

Address: 59200 Museum Dr, Hatteras, NC 27943, USA

Website: Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

5. Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina, USA
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kip Robinson used under CC BY-SA 4.0

While the first lighthouse on Bodie Island was constructed as early as 1847, the current Bodie Island Lighthouse was built in 1872 and stands 165 feet (50 m) tall. It has been recently renovated in 2013, so it still has a functioning navigational aid and now the public can actually walk up the 214 steps that spiral to the top. There are self-guided public tours available at the property. If you are in Waves, then this beautiful unmissable site is merely 20 miles (32 km) away.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Address: 8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse, Nags Head, NC 27959, USA

Website: Bodie Island Lighthouse

6. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Sunset of Pea island national wildlife refuge
Source: Photo by user Hillebrand Steve,... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located 10 miles (16 km) south of Nags Head, North Carolina on NC 12. The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge was established on May 17, 1937. It includes 5,834 acres (23.6 sq km) of land and 25,700 acres (104 sq km) Proclamation Boundary Waters. It was started with the mission to provide nesting, resting, and wintering habitat for various birds, raptors, and neotropical migrants; to create a protected habitat for endangered and threatened species, and to provide opportunities for public enjoyment of wildlife and wild land resources.

While the refuge area was historically used for market waterfowl hunting, commercial fishing, farming, and livestock operations, currently, the island boasts of more than 365 species which also include 25 species of mammals, 24 species of reptiles, and 5 species of amphibians.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 14500 NC-12, Rodanthe, NC 27968, USA

Website: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

7. Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Jockey's Ridge State Park Nags Head 25
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bohemian Baltimore used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Jockey’s Ridge State Park is spread over an area of 426-acres (1.72 sq km). Jockey’s Ridge contains the tallest natural sand dune in the Eastern US and hosts three unique ecosystems: the Roanoke Sound, the dune system, and the maritime forest. Its high sand dunes make it a premier location for hang gliding, kites, sand-boarding, watching sunsets, sunbathing, and sightseeing in the wetlands, grassy dunes or maritime thickets. There’s also a visitor center, museum and a boardwalk with exhibits that illustrates the place’s ecology.

Merely 39 minutes drive from Waves, NC this park offers an experience to remember for a lifetime.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Address: 300 W Carolista, Nags Head, NC 27959, USA

Website: Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Wading through the waves

Beach at Waves NC
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Philip Cohen used under CC BY 2.0

The area in the vicinity of Waves, NC not only offers all kinds of landscape but is also a popular tourist destination for outdoor activities. There is so much to do around here, that merely a weekend is not going to be enough.

Happy traveling! Do share your travel experiences with us!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Ishita Gupta is a freelance Indian writer with a passion for travelling extensively and discovering new destinations that also reflects in her style of writing. While charting the road less...Read more

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